Conagra acquired Gelit through purchase of US peer Ralcorp Foods in 2012

Conagra acquired Gelit through purchase of US peer Ralcorp Foods in 2012

Conagra Brands appears primed to trim its portfolio following a number of recent acquisitions as the US firm said it is "exploring strategic alternatives" for Gelit, an Italy-based manufacturer frozen foods and ready meals.

Gelit, a business located in Doganella di Ninfa, Italy, manufactures authentic Italian frozen food and ready meals primarily for private-label customers, but also for a "broad range of international" accounts, New York-listed Conagra said in a statement late yesterday (21 January).

No details were given in the statement as to why Illinois-based Conagra, the owner of food brands such as Healthy Choice, Slim Jim and Orville Redenbacher, is seeking to offload the assets. 

"Conagra Brands has not set a timetable for the strategic process nor has it made any decisions relating to any strategic alternatives at this time, and no assurance can be given as to the outcome of the process," the statement read. "Conagra Brands does not intend to disclose additional details unless, and until, further disclosure is appropriate or necessary."

Under the tutelage of chief executive Sean Connolly, Conagra has primarily focused on acquisitions over the past three years to extend its reach in the US frozen food category and the snacks segment.

The biggest was last year's purchase of fellow US frozen food manufacturer Pinnacle Foods, which counts Earth Balance and Hawaiian Kettle Style Potato Chips in its portfolio.

In 2017, Conagra snapped up up US business Thanasi Foods, a producer of meat- and seed-based snacks under the Duke's and Bigs brands, before moving for Sandwich Bros., a maker of frozen breakfast and flatbread sandwiches, and Angie's Artisan Treats, the owner of Angie's Boomchickapop popcorn.  

Conagra said it has engaged BNP Paribas to assist with the Gelit process. The Italian business employs 145 people at its only manufacturing plant in Doganella di Ninfa.

Conagra acquired Gelit through its purchase of US peer Ralcorp Foods in 2012. Ralcorp had bought Gelit earlier that year.